Monday, May 27, 2024

Grace Graduated

 And you know what that means?!?

Grandma made her (another) quilt!

 I've had this quilt top finished for a year and I knew when I was making it that it was for Grace but I put off quilting it until the deadline was bearing down hot and heavy.
The pattern used is Exploding Hearts and I made it with a layer cake. 
I layered it on May 7th and 8th.
As I was motoring along with the quilting one morning last week, I considered "why was I waiting" to quilt it?   Stop and think!  I actually did try to come up with a quilting plan when I first finished the piecing.  I looked at Pinterest and Instagram for ideas -- nothing!
And so as is often the case for me, how to quilt it was my "bump in the road" and I put it off until the last moment!?!
Thankfully, the looming deadline was the big motivator!! When I sat down to actually start the quilting I took the simplest approach and used the same "grid" idea from the last Mississippi Mud top I quilted!
The quilting lines are about 1/2" off the seam lines and (this is awesome) they avoid all the lumpy seam intersections and don't call attention to any of the "not quite perfect" intersections!
My lines aren't perfectly straight but when looking at the piece as a whole, that's not obvious!
I did this on my APQS George with a straight line tool and follower foot, but it could just as easily be done with a walking foot on any sewing machine.
BONUS -- since all the lines begin and end at the edges of the quilt, there were very few thread ends to bury -- just where the bobbins ran out!!
Plus I finally was able to use this gorgeous floral print that I've been hoarding!!
On May 20th, I bound the quilt and labeled it by stitching a dedication and my name right into the quilt with my computerized Bernina's lovely script alphabet using the memory function to write out phrases.
Of course, it's been so long since I did that sort of thing, I had to get out the manual -- thank goodness I organized all my machine supplies a few years ago and the manual was easy to find!
Grace is my oldest grandchild and as I stitched out her name, I recalled the moment her mom called to say she was expecting and my excitement!
She did very well in school and is headed off to college in the fall perhaps to become an engineer?  Here we are in front of her "baby tree" as she calls it -- a Japanese lilac seedling from my garden that I gave her parents the year she was born.
Look at all those cords and medals?!?
Time to start thinking about the next graduation quilt so I stay ahead of the game!!

And if you like this quilting idea, go ahead and copy it on your next project!!


Monday, May 6, 2024

Scrappy Quilts for the Win

 Another long pause from me -- I'm thinking I might be about finished with my blogging career if that's what its been?  I've always created my posts with a goal to teach or share something useful to other quilt makers but having stepped largely away from the more active part of the quilting world, I have few ideas to share that seem new to me.  I feel like I've said everything I can about finishing projects and working with scraps and using tools effectively and staying true to your own creative energy.

The current "sewing with scraps" interest continues for me and yesterday I happily began to assemble the scrappy log cabin blocks into a large throw.   It will take a couple more sessions to assemble it completely -- an hour at the sewing machine is my current time limit (thanks arthritis!?!).

I'm so pleased with the results -- the quilt has so much sparkle (it's the turquoise and orange scraps).
 I estimate it used 4 3/4 yards of fabric even though the 1 1/2" strip box is still half full . . .   
. . . and there are still pre-cut logs on the mat.
Perhaps there needs to be more log cabin blocks pieced -- maybe a couple wheelchair lap robes?

And bonus!!
All the hourglass units are pieced for the next quilt top -- I used them as "leaders and enders".
They aren't quite as consistent in size as I  had hoped -- turns out the starter charm pak squares weren't actually 5" square so the accurate 5" squares I cut to fill out the assortment are bigger making for some lopsided hourglass units.  
Do you know how much I dislike trimming???

A dozen years ago, I started using UFO's as "leaders and enders" and that strategy worked so well and I finished so many piecing UFO's that now I have to start new projects so I have productive "leaders and enders".  By the time, I finish piecing one quilt, I often have most of the units done for a new quilt (although it makes for a very messy cutting table?!?).

The little scrappy star quilt top is all set together -- it is suppose to be a charity quilt but it hasn't been donated yet -- well, it's not finished.  
Am I delaying because I like it a little too much???
I also pulled out a very old UFO and got it quilted this past month.
It's a Mary Ellen Hopkins log cabin idea using the six colorways of the print I colored for Kings Road Imports back in the mid-1990's. I challenged one of my quilter clubs to make something using all the colorways and this was my friend, Laura's make.  A few years ago, she was having a "thin-out" and gave the top to me.  Now it's hanging in my sewing room where I can see it from the sewing machine!
 I need to focus on quilting tops for a month now -- they are piling up a bit more than I like at this point.  This afternoon, I'll layer the Exploding Heart top I made last winter for a graduation quilt for my oldest granddaughter. 
Graduation is in 2 1/2 weeks -- yikes, Mary -- cutting it a bit close aren't you??

I'm not even mentioning all the normal distractions of spring here.
This gorgeous fellow and three side-kicks have been here all day -- foraging in the oak tree and taking turns sucking up sunflower seeds from the feeder.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
And I can hardly tear myself away from the back windows with a clear view of the yard!!

Time to get that quilt layered.
I hope spring is settling into place where you are!!